Napa Wine


There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the area “Wappo,” and some say this is a derivation of “guapo” meaning “handsome,” while others say it means “brave,” with Napa being a further spin-off. Another legend is that Napa is a Wappo word for the land itself. Regardless, with its Mediterranean climate and diverse terroirs, this land eventually became one of the most important wine regions in the world. 
The first vineyards in Napa were planted in 1836 by George Calvert Yount in what is now the town of Yountville. In the 1850s, Thomas Rutherford, who married Yount’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Yount, established the first vineyard in what would become Rutherford town. The first commercial winery was established by Charles Krug in the 1860s. Soon, the likes of Inglenook, Beringer and Schramsberg and many others set up their wineries Read more »

Mentor for Napa Wines

Craig Donofrio

Craig Donofrio is an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers and has worked and consulted for some of the nation's top restaurants. He is chief food/wine photographer at Grapevine Studios (

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Popular wines made in Napa under $20

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Varietals Produced in Napa View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Subregions of Napa

  • Carneros

    Los Carneros- The first AVA one comes to as one splits off the Napa Vallejo Highway and takes rou...

  • Stags Leap District

      Stags Leap District is located on the famous Silverado Trail of the Napa Valley region in ...

  • Yountville

    To the south of Oakville and comprised virtually entirely of valley floor land, Yountville is the...

Popular Wineries in Napa View all

  • Irony

    Most of us didn't imagine where we would be right now. Sure, we dreamed of being firemen, astrona...

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

  • StoneFly Vineyard

    Founded more than a decade ago on a passion for fly-fishing and fine wine, StoneFly Vineyards pro...

  • Beaucanon Estate

    Situated in beautiful Napa Valley, on the historic Longwood Ranch, Beaucanon Estate reflects the ...

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

    As the French are fond of saying the quality begins with the very specific terroir or soils and w...

  • Jessup Cellars

    Owners Dan and Becky Blue, Roy and Cheri Eisiminger and Vance and Jana Thompson are proud to pres...

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Napa on Snooth

  • Today I attended one of my favorite tastings of the year, the Taste Napa Valley tour, where I tasted no lessthan 65 great to wonderful wines, mostly King Cabernet himself. I have listed the high lights of the day here. More will follow. 2005 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa- Gorgeous fruit forward with a lush mouth feel. Dense currant with...

    Comment by 125081Mike Pobega 125081 Mike Pobega

  • Titus Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Valley 2015


    Fairly volatile nosedefinitely can detect the alcohol. Very pretty bluish-purple color. Lots of red fruit on the tip of the tongue. Unfortunately, much more jammy than I like. The acid and tannin are overcome buy the unfortunate front fruit in this wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2016


    Intriguing earthy complexity and dark cocoa notes with fresh cream, vanilla bean and blackberry preserves. Brooding and earthy palate of dark spice, chocolate and mixed berries with a core of red fruit that wells up from the center, delivering red currant and resinous tannins that finish creamy with good length. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2016


    Perfumed floral aromas of white blossom and white peach, notes of grapefruit and fresh citrus. Medium plus acidity and a tart palate of lime zest and young green apple, this has a touch of heat and a spicy finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Bingo!The 2008 smoke tainted wines had heavy smoky presence in the nose and ... tasted a sample of ‘17 Napa Cab that tested positive for smoke taint and it had no hints on the nose. It had a noticeable astringency in the far back of my throat but that was it. But, like I said, people will be finding smoke taint in wines that don’t have any jus... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Smoke Tainted Wine Bottles

  • Sorry about the delay EMark. Like noted previously most, but not all, of Sonoma ... ... are treatable for a cost.Napa was about 80% picked and there are some cases where finished wines were tainted. That is also treatable but only to a degree as smoke taint sometimes takes years to unravel in the bottle. Regardless of whether there is taint or ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Smoke Tainted Wine Bottles

  • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2014


    Stonefruit aromas. Green apple, peach and, maybe, pineapple on the tip of the tongue. Not oaky, at allso, no worries, there. Mouthfilling and refreshing, Pleasant aftertaste. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Thanks for the tip wow nothing available at in Mendo 2008 anyplace else I should look? Napa and Sonoma in 2017 has a good chance I think I will by buying.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Smoke Tainted Wine Bottles

  • Girard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1

  • Good luck, Dale. Hey, OT.  Thanks for dropping by.I am confused, a ... ... about '17 Sonoma and Napa wines because of smoke taint.I did read something from Myriad to the effect that all their grapes were harvested prior to the fires and they have no concerns at all.Can you share any insight Read More

    Forum post in the topic Smoke Tainted Wine Bottles

  • Gloria Ferrer Pinot Noir Carneros 2014


    Light cherry on entry. Then some sort of wood. Quite tartsome may not care for that, but Im OK. To me there is an unfortunate bitterness in the aftertaste. For the price Im OK with it. If I paid more than about $20, Id look elsewhere. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Every time I visit Napa I have a great time. Make sure you plan ahead though. The options can be overwhelming!

    Comment by 321328cablecars 321328 cablecars

  • Recently had a Darioush Duel Cabernet/Shiraz blend 2005 I bought it at the vineyard and it was wonderful Mmmmm

    Comment by 250806Grape Goddess 250806 Grape Goddess

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